Dar 91 first opened its doors in 2006. We had renovated Wahed – originally two separate flats – the previous year.
Two years later we bought the rest of the building – including the ground floor, which was at the time used as storage by a local shopkeeper and the ‘house at the back’ – originally three separate flats, which we reshaped into Zhuzh and Tlata.
We have been told that originally, the house was one of four ‘watchtower’ buildings put up by the Gendarmerie Forestiere in the late 18th century to keep an eye on raids from the forest, which in earlier times stretched up to the medina walls – and, in the other direction, to monitor houses within the medina.
We’ve filled Dar 91 with local arts and crafts and it’s our mission to welcome guests from all over the world and give them a great experience of Essaouira and Morocco more generally.
We operate as a registered Moroccan company, filing accounts annually and paying all taxes, fair wages and national insurance contributions for our staff (depressingly unusual for European-owned guest houses). We give a minimum of 10% of our profits to local charities and neighbours who need help.
Since 2015 we have been helping people get a taste of the beautiful Sahara region, via Dar 91 in the Desert.